Beagle puppy. (Wikimedia Commons)

Too cute to be true: BBB warns of fraudulent beagle puppy ads online

Buyer asks people to pay with Google Play giftcards

Have you seen some super cute and free beagles on a classifieds site lately?

Well, it’s just too cute to be true, according to the Better Business Bureau.

In a news release Monday, the bureau received multiple reports of an ad on eClassifieds4u.com for free beagles that tricked victims out of $500 each.

The reports said a scammer by the name of Jones Walker claimed to have a Prince George address and beagle puppies for adoption.

Walker would communicate by text only using the phone number 787-986-0856 and asked the victims to buy Google Play cards to cover the cost for paper transfers and shipping.

Then, Walker asks for an extra $1,500 to $2,000 as a deposit to ship the puppy, claiming it will be refunded to the victim.

When delays pop up, Walker tells victims that the puppy is recovering from shots or that his own daughter is critically ill in a Calgary hospital.

The bureau said that in total, its received 626 reports of online puppy scams across North America this year. Of those, 18 were in Canada and some victims lost as much as $5,200. In 2018, the bureau received 1,313 reports across North America and 33 from Canada.

The bureau warned although most people start their search for a new dog on the internet, it’s important to be careful and always safer to stick with a legitimate shelter rather than a private sale. They estimate that at least 80 per cent of sponsored pet ads online may be fraudulent.

For those trying to get a pet online, the bureau has a few tips:

  • Don’t buy a pet without seeing it in person
  • Try to Google search the image used in the ad to make sure it’s an original. If it’s not, it’s likely a scam
  • Never pay with a money order, gift card, Interac e-transer or through Western Union or Money Gram
  • Use a credit card so you can dispute the charges
  • Research prices because a deeply discounted puppy is likely not real

Anyone who is the victim of a scam is asked to file a report with BBB’s Scam Tracker or call the Canadian Antifraud Centre at 1-888-495-8501.

ALSO READ: Scam watch: Better Business Bureau says wait to donate to Notre Dame fire rebuild

ALSO READ: Seniors targeted in scam calls selling B.C. tech company shares


Like us on Facebook and follow us on Twitter.

Get local stories you won't find anywhere else right to your inbox.
Sign up here

Just Posted

COVID-19 highlights lack of connectivity in First Nations communities

Many don’t have access required to utilize online platforms, says First Nations Technology Council

BC SPCA team helps discover new feline virus after outbreak at Quesnel shelter

Fechavirus is a kind of parvovirus, which makes cats and kittens very sick

Restaurants adjust to loosened restrictions

Gateway Grill in Clearwater is one of the establishments that’s reopened its doors to in-house guests

Going above and beyond the call of duty

“She does it out of the goodness of her heart … she loves seeing the results.”

B.C. legislature coming back June 22 as COVID-19 emergency hits record

Pandemic restrictions now longer than 2017 wildfire emergency

Spirit bear possibly spotted in West Kootenay

A local resident spotted the white-coloured bear while on an evening trail run near Castlegar on May 27

B.C. businesses ‘can’t shoulder burden’ of COVID-19 sick pay

Trudeau’s plan should be tied to federal emergency aid

B.C. teacher reprimanded for sharing homophobic and sexist memes, making racist comments

Klaus Hardy Breslauer was accused of making a laundry list of concerning decisions as a science teacher

COVID-19: B.C. too dependent on foreign food production workers

New B.C. job site links unemployed with farm, seafood work

Another Asian giant ‘murder hornet’ found in Lower Mainland

This is the farthest east the invasive species has been found so far

B.C. girl left temporarily paralyzed by tick bite sparks warning from family

Mom says parents need to check their kids when they go camping

PHOTOS: Loved ones reunite at an oasis on closed U.S.-Canada border in Surrey

Officials closed the park in mid-March over coronavirus concerns

Feds delay national action plan for missing and murdered Indigenous women

Meanwhile, the pandemic has exacerbated the violence facing many Indigenous women and girls

Most Read